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Healing Service to Stand in Solidarity with Corona Virus Victims

 PowerPoint:  Healing Service
 Prayers: Healing Service

 Song Link: For the Healing of the Nations (Fred Kaan)
Luke 9:1-2, 6


Healing was central to the ministry of Jesus. It was a sign of God's kingdom, bringing renewal and wholeness of life to those who turned to God in their need. Jesus sent out his disciples with the commission to 'proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.

In every act of worship, the Church celebrates the grace of God who desires wholeness of body, mind and spirit for all people. At a service of healing, we focus on that aspect of God's character. We bring to God our own frailty and brokenness and all the burdens which weigh us down. We also bring our concerns for others and for the world.

Above all, we come to the God who knows our needs before we ask, and whose love revealed in Jesus Christ is stronger than suffering and death.

Scripture Reading:

"Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over evil spirits and to cure diseases, And He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick ,,,So they departed and went through the towns, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere" (Luke 9:1-2, 6)

Jesus Never Told Us to Pray for the Sick, He Told us to Heal Them!
message by Rev. Frank Schaefer

Certainly praying for the sick is scriptural (James 5: 14-15: "Is anyone sick among you? Let them call on the church to pray"), but isn't it interesting that Jesus never specifically asked his disciples to pray for the sick?
Jesus told his disciples, and since we are Jesus' disciples too, he told us to heal the sick, Healing is a big, big part of the gospel story, And according to the instructions Jesus gave the 70 he sent out, healing should not be an isolated occurrence, healing should occur everywhere at all time, "So they departed and went through the towns, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere."

And since the gospel didn't change, healing should still occur at the hands of the church all the time and everywhere, And yet, strangely, the church today is not exactly associated with healing, at least not with supernatural healing, The Church is known for supporting and even owning hospitals and bringing healing to people through modern medicine, Two of my children were born in a Catholic hospital, one of them in a Methodist hospital, But what about healing people the Jesus-way? Maybe, the church has a power we don't yet know we possess?

Imagine with me a conversation between the modern church and Jesus:

Church: Yes, Jesus, that'd be something if I could heal people like you did; if we could perform the kind of miracles you performed, But we really don't have that kind of power, do we? So how do we follow your command to heal people?

Jesus: Are you kidding me? I wish I had had your kind of power to heal when I walked the earth, Where do I even start? Let me mention a few examples of the kind of massive power you have to heal...

Every year, millions of people die from Malaria in Africa-mostly children, a disease that is primarily spread by mosquitoes, A few years the United Methodist Church has partnered with the Global Fund in their efforts to stamp out Malaria, Millions of dollars were raised, Remember, we had a whole service dedicated to this effort two years ago, It costs about $10 to give a mosquito net to a family in Africa that keeps mosquitoes away during the night, Plus doctors, nurses were sent with medication, all in the name of Christ. The result...

--Global malaria mortality rates have fallen by an estimated 60 percent since the Imagine No Malaria campaign began
--When INM began, a child in Africa died from malaria every 30 seconds... then 45 seconds... then 1 minute, One child still dies every 2 minutes but the progress is reason for hope and celebration,
--Because of the global effort to fight malaria, it is estimated that 6,8 million deaths from malaria have been averted since 2001,
--395,000 deaths from malaria still occur yearly in Africa, (1)

And this is only one of hundreds of things we can do to bring healing to God's creatures everywhere, Remember when we collected money for the purpose to have a water well built in a village in Africa or Asia? Well that too was a way of putting our healing powers to work, And what about our Church's mission for the mistreated and abandoned women in the Congo? What about our mission to end human trafficking, All these things bring real healing to people, families and communities,
And we can also donate money toward finding a cure or an immunization for the Corona Virus, It's not just helping our neighbors, but quite possibly, we will help ourselves as it's not yet known how far and wide this virus will spread across the globe,

In this imaginary conversation with Jesus, here is what I hear him say: I wasn't able to heal 6,8 million by myself when I walked the earth, But part of my church was able to accomplish that.

And it isn't just about giving money, There is so much more the church can and should do, Such as raising our voices to make sure that our country and eventually the whole world has a decent health care system, Physicians Rana Awdish and Leonard Berry, in an article entitled "Putting Healing Back at the Center of Health Care" are arguing that a proper health care system can prevent an enormous number of diseases before they even start:

The primary mission of health care is to facilitate healing, People often associate healing only with "cure," but it is much broader,,, Healing requires more than medication and technology directed toward physiological improvement, Emotional and spiritual rehabilitation matter, too, (2)

This is where the church comes in with her power to heal, We can raise our voices for the need of a comprehensive and affordable health care system for all people, We can raise our voices and engage in actions that will counter climate change, because, let's face it, many diseases are rooted in the way we pollute the world with gases, toxins, and trash, We can support and vote for those political candidates that want to make all that that happen and we can be activists, If you think one person, one church, cannot make a difference, just looks at Greta Thunberg--one autistic teen who is changing the word, Who is going to be the Greta Thunberg of the Church?

And we can do work as local congregations to make sure the poor and the homeless have shelter and access to medical services, We can work on the spiritual end of things, and be a beacon of hope for how God envisions the perfect world, Think about this: we are healing this community by welcoming and accepting everybody unconditionally into this space, Spiritual healing and well-being happens when we accept, love, and support each other as people from different walks, ethnicities, sexual orientations, genders and ages, And it is a known fact that spiritual and emotional well-being contributes to physical health!

Yes, we ought to pray for healing, but we can do so much more, We can be part of healing this community, this society, our world by our actions as well as our prayers, Amen!

1. United Methodist Church Communications Site: Imagine No Malaria
2. Rana Awdish and Leonard Berry,
Putting Healing Back at the Center of Health Care


Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer.
We pray for the sick in our community,
and those in foreign lands,
We pray for those in hospital or at home,
for those whose minds
are beset with anxiety and fear,
for those oppressed or broken in spirit;
for those who turn to us for healing and comfort that,
together in you, we may find wholeness and peace.

Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer.
Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer.
We pray for all who suffer;
for the victims of war and violence;
of persecution and aggression;
of disaster and accident;
we pray for the homeless and the hungry;
for refugees and asylum-seekers;
for the destitute and the oppressed;
for the lonely and unloved; and for those who mourn;
that they may find strength and hope.